There’s no escaping digital devices in this day and age. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and computers, we’re surrounded by technology and it’s being used in ever more areas of our lives.
For parents it can be difficult to know how much their youngsters should be using digital devices, but the Times Educational Supplement (TES) recently reported on research which found that 76 per cent of 0 to five year olds use this technology at home.
The research was conducted by the Department for Education, and found that in the majority of cases, this technology is being used to support learning.
In fact, 74 per cent of parents questioned said that this was why their youngsters used tablets or smartphones. 45 per cent also said they used them to encourage play or creativity, while 44 per cent admitted to turning to technology to keep their kids quiet.
Tablets are the most popular devices to be given to children, followed closely by smartphones, the research noted.
Damian Hinds, education secretary, described digital devices as “a double-edged sword”. He cautioned against making them the default option for keeping youngsters occupied, but added: “When used in the right way, technology can actively support a child’s learning and is something we must harness in our mission to support parents with children’s learning at home.”
If you’re looking for some help with childcare through an au pair agency in the UK, it’s sensible to talk about the use of digital devices with anyone you hire.
While digital devices have their uses, it’s worth being aware of research carried out in the US and published last month, which found that allowing toddlers to have too much screen time can lead to mental health problems as they get older.